Saturday, September 29, 2012

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!

This spectacular spider came along to hang out on our porch.

So we immediately killed it.


“After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die.”
― E.B. White, Charlotte's Web

Saturdays Are For Killing Brain Cells

If Lifetime Movie Network has taught us anything it is that grieving mothers who believe their dead children are actually still living are ALWAYS correct.*

And that guys named Schmennis and Schmark are total schmassholes.

Happy chore day, my friends!



*Except for Beth Holloway.

Related posts:
A Very Special Lifetime Christmas Movie Starring Me
"At the end of the movie, I said to my children, 'If you kids were doing what you're supposed to, you'd be writing letters to Santa asking him to bring your mommy a nice man for Christmas. You'd also be asking for me to get a book deal. Your letters to Santa are clearly lacking.'

As soon as I said this, I realized that I am the perfect heroine for a cheesy Christmas movie. I have all the necessary requirements. Let's count them down."

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday's Random Thoughts - Losers, Sluts, and Jerks Edition

"Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves."
                                                         - Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five

First of all, Kurt Vonnegut is wonderful.

I like how you can speak about famous authors in the present tense, even after they have passed away. This is because their words are still with us and that's an amazing thing.

Secondly, I've been thinking about this passage from Slaughterhouse Five for awhile. I've been thinking about this hatred of poor people that is a part of our culture. I've been thinking about how every discussion about politics or social safety nets devolves into nothing more than spitting out pejorative words.

I've been thinking about how you can always count on someone to use the word "loser."

Poor people are losers.
Unemployed people are losers.
Those going through health issues with inadequate or no health insurance? Losers.
Drug addicts? Losers.
The mentally ill? Losers.
People who are depressed? Losers.

On a daily basis, folks seem dead set on proving that we are nothing more than animals. Survival of the richest fittest, you say? OK. Then admit that we are no more special than cows in a field or fish in the sea.

It's fine. We aren't.

We're a bunch of assholes.

Sorry. It's been a rough week.

People who answer their phones are often rude or plain mean. I make 150 calls a day. I could write down the names of the people who are friendly and at the end of the day you would have two names to read.

I try to focus on those two nice people. Last night, a woman said, "Oh, honey, I understand! Of course I'll take your survey." When people say yes, I can't help saying, "Yea!" and they laugh. That's something.


In middle school world this week, there was a "mean girls" incident. The associate principal called me. I won't share too much of it since I want to respect Kate's privacy (except when she says things that are hilarious or deeply touching, of course). I'll just tell you that Kate got very upset last night and cried a bit and then said, "Friends fight, Mom!" She didn't want to tell me what happened because she was worried I would, out of loyalty, instantly hate the friend involved.

She said, "It's fine. It's no big deal."

Kate is my daughter, there's no doubt about that. "No big deal" is a thing around here. "No big deal" allows you to keep going when you know it actually is a big deal and that the deal is, in fact, so big that  it will crush you under its weight if you acknowledge it.

At first Kate didn't want to tell me what had happened. It involved a word that no girl should use to describe another girl, no woman should use against another woman. I've heard of another incident of this word being used recently and it has no place among these girls who spend their time going to the mall and the skating rink and jumping on the trampoline. No one is doing anything even close to the definition of the term.

But sometimes girls are simply mean.

I told Kate she has to be able to tell me these things. I said "I don't want to scare you, but it's only going to get worse. Middle school is hard. High school is hard. It will be easier if you can talk to me about it and tell me what's going on."

Hell. Midlife is hard. And mean girls continue to be mean. Some people get their kicks by leaving out other people. While you sit around and wonder what you did to be left out, they are posting photos online so everyone will be sure to know they weren't invited. Toppers continue to top. ("What? You did something cool? Oh, I did something cooler. Top that.")

If you're lucky, you grow into a person who recognizes the people who are filled up with middle school energy and you can avoid them. I wish this for Kate every day. I hope that she can continue to build her inner strength so that she knows who she is, what she stands for, and what she deserves.

It's easier said than done, whether you are 12 or 20 or 35 or 80 and that bitch Esther left you out of the bridge game at Shady Oaks Retirement Home.

Fuck you, Esther.


So who are these people who deem others losers? They're never very amazing themselves. I mean, Rush Limbaugh certainly talks a good game about how others should behave perfectly (his idea of perfection) and yet he's overweight. He's struggled with drug addiction. He's been married four times. But to society at large, his bank account makes his human fallibility more acceptable than if he was poor and did these things.

Have you ever noticed that as a culture we seem to expect perfection from the poorest among us? We expect them to avoid every human urge. They should not have sex because they cannot afford children. They should not give in to addictions (who cares if addiction is a disease?), because they cannot afford those substances and they can't afford treatment. They should not be fat because how dare you be poor AND fat? You should be thin otherwise you are obviously not poor enough.

Awhile back I read a sanctimonious, misguided blog post from a young woman who worked at Walmart one summer during college. Her post was a conservative diatribe against people who use food stamps or benefits cards to purchase birthday cakes or steak.

Because you losers should not be celebrating birthdays or ever, ever having something to eat other than beans and rice.

I was unemployed in the spring when both my children had birthdays. I made Kate a cake from a box of lemon cake mix we already had in the cabinet. She wasn't happy about it. I should have gotten her a cookie cake like she wanted, but funds were particularly low. Kate had a small slumber party instead of a skate party. I fixed them popcorn and took them to the dollar store, where we bought soda and treats for late-night snacks. I let them take over my bedroom for the night and watch movies on Netflix.

I wish I could have done more. Saying no is difficult and it doesn't matter if you are poor. Having no money doesn't make it easier to resist the temptations of worldly things. It simply makes it more essential.

I don't resist every small treat because I'm making such low wages right now. I don't get manicures or pedicures anymore, but I do treat myself to a skinny vanilla latte on Fridays so I can fuel my Friday blog post. I'm certain that spending that $4 proves what a loser I am. I should put that $4 in a retirement fund or toward my never-ending student loan. I would do that if I was behaving as perfectly as my income range says I should be to prove my worthiness.

The whole thing makes me angry because I don't want to hate myself and I struggle with that. Sometimes I do hate myself because my children don't have college funds, because I can't afford to put Kate in tumbling or cheerleading. My situation dictates their lives.

I also don't, generally, feel like someone who isn't incredibly lucky. I am. I am richer than 99 percent of the world. I have a lovely house full of things that mean something to me. None of it is worth very much money, but it's special nonetheless. Give me a house full of books and comfortable pajama pants and I'm good.

But I live with kids who are making their way up and down the halls of middle and high schools. They are having to find their way in a world that says you should have these jeans and these shoes and this backpack. I am walking the tightrope of wanting to give them all the things that make walking those halls easier and wanting to teach them that they are - in absolutely every way - stronger, better, and more valuable than the fools who buy into that game.

But...

I wanted Kate to be able to buy a new shirt for picture day so last weekend I gave her money that I probably should have saved. I want to take Jacob to see Argo when it comes out and I know that I should probably wait for it to come out on DVD instead.

I do not want to beat myself up for the choices I have made that have led me here. I don't want to call myself names like a mean girl in middle school.

I remember when I was Kate's age, I went to a church lock-in. A "prep" in a plaid shirt called a group of people I was with "scumbags." I remember thinking how mean it was and how the only difference between the two groups is that one group had parents with money and the other group didn't. One group had Guess jeans and Outback Red shirts. The other group had off-brand shoes that weren't Keds. Period.

That kid in the khaki pants and plaid shirt probably grew up to live in the same city in which he was raised, driving an SUV into the right neighborhood in the right part of town (deemed right by the snobs of the city), posting Facebook status updates about how he works so other people can sit on their asses. All the while thinking himself so very special for being who he is when he is actually only living exactly the life into which he was born.

But, hey, all you poor folks should really pull yourselves up by your boot straps and escape your situation. Losers.


Incidentally, let me just say that I do not actually believe in the devil or hell but, if I did, I could make a pretty good case for the idea that hell is a church lock-in and the devil is a preppy boy in khaki pants and a plaid shirt.

I'm not saying people shouldn't try their best to save money, work hard, and resist temptations. I'm simply saying that perhaps we could all try to respond less like asshole animals in the wild and more like human beings.

Stop using the world "loser" to describe people you know nothing about.

Try a little compassion.

Try a little understanding.

And if you're poor or failing at something or struggling with a difficult situation, try to offer those things to yourself, too.






Thursday, September 27, 2012

Does He Look Like a Bitch?

Whatever your politics, you have to love Samuel L. Jackson and his way with the F-word. No, really, if we're going to hang out, you have to love him.

That was f*cking beautiful.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Saddest Cat of All

If you've been coming to VCC for awhile then you already know that sad cats and sad kittens are the biggest attraction in these parts.

Today, VCC presents the saddest kitten of all, Mercy, the newest (and least furry) member of the Kardashian Klux Klan.

You'd be sad, too, if you had to live with this family of asshats and famewhores.

Have you ever seen a kitten look so resigned to its fate?

Good luck, little kitty.






Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Clooney Tuesdays - Win a Lunch Date with George

When you drop $5 on the counter for your six-inch Subway sandwich today, think about this: If you were willing to drop $20,000, you could treat me to lunch with George Clooney. (Oh yeah, you can come along, too.)

George is auctioning off a lunch date for two guests to join him and entertainment writer Dave Karger at the Soho House in West Hollywood.

Side note: Apparently, the Soho House is described as "exclusive." Whenever a place is "exclusive," I am immediately turned off. Exclusiveness annoys me. There's a bar in Birmingham that has a VIP room. Seriously? VIP? Who the hell in Birmingham is VIP? Taylor Hicks? Is the VIP room exclusively full of past American Idol winners crying in corners and wondering where all their potential went? Bo Bice shaking his fist in the air and cursing Carrie Underwood? Thanks, but I think I'll stay in the inclusive area.

Do you hear that, George? I'd be happy to share a foot-long sub with you at a sandwich joint.

Wondering who the hell Dave Karger is? He's a senior writer for Entertainment Weekly. He has a Twitter account here. Wondering why the hell Dave Karger is going to be there? I have no idea. But I'd be happy to talk to him about the publishing industry and about how Entertainment Weekly used to be a much better magazine than it is now.

The proceeds will benefit the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

Nothing to wear? Need to lose ten pounds first? That's OK. You have time.

It may take up to a year for the lunch date to be scheduled. But that's good news. By the time the lunch happens, the George Clooney Girlfriend Contract will have expired on Stacy Keibler.

The terms also state that the winner will be subject to a security screening. I believe this means George Clooney will frisk you.

According to CharityBuzz, bidding is currently at $6,500 and will remain open until Oct. 11. The auction is expected to raise $20,000.

Mommy and Daddy, if you really love me, you'll buy me this.


Want to bid? Go to CharityBuzz.com.

Lastly, I will leave you with some photos of George consuming stuff.









Monday, September 24, 2012

Bad Boyfriend Monday

Oh, hello, Monday. Here you are again. You just keep showing up, don't you?

Have I not made myself clear? I don't like you anymore.



I had such a lovely weekend without you.

And now you have the nerve to come around again.

(sigh)

Ugh. Go away. Nobody likes you.

I think our relationship has grown rather toxic the past few weeks. In fact, when I know you're coming over, I begin to feel a slow-building dread the evening before.

It's not enough to make the start of the work week rough, you have to mess with my relationship with Sunday, too?



#

I am trying to be Zen about things. I am trying to see Monday as an opportunity to begin again.

Put on your workout clothes. Do an hour of yoga. Breathe in and out. Get out of your ego.

Put vegetables and a roast in the crock pot. Be grateful you have food to put in the crock pot.

Go to work and try not to count the hours until it's time to leave. Don't think about how it's so boring you want to cry.

Don't waste your off-hours dreading your on-hours.

Don't wish time away. Life goes by quickly enough on its own.

Live in the moment. Appreciate what you have.

Concentrate on the things you are meant to do and this will help you get through the moments of doing what you have to do.

Don't hate Monday. Monday doesn't mean to be a bad boyfriend who doesn't know when to leave well enough alone.

Accept Monday for what it is.

You can't change men and you can't change Monday.

Breathe in, breathe out.

If that doesn't work, remember this: It's only four days until Friday.

And everyone knows Friday is the George Clooney of weekdays.



Sunday, September 23, 2012

Oh, BrBa, How I Miss You

Congrats to Aaron Paul on his Emmy win tonight and a big thank you for giving us this guy-love gif with Giancarlo Esposito.




Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturdays Are For Killing Brain Cells

"If I'm old enough to drive, I'm old enough to run over hookers in Grand Theft Auto."
  - Jacob on the unfairness of not being able to purchase M-rated games until he's 17 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday's Random Thoughts - Vagueblogging Edition

I'm pretty outspoken about my belief that vaguebooking is a bad habit indicative of weak character and passive-aggressive tendencies. 

Certain people should really stop doing it. 

But, come on, haven't you ever had the urge to tell people off without getting specific about who it is you're telling off? I mean, those bastards know who they are. They just pretend not to know.

For example, sometimes I walk around the house yelling things like, "Can no one see this mess in the hallway?!" or "Obviously, some people here don't know how to take out the trash when it is full!" or "Somebody's feet sure STINK!" 

And when I yell these things, certain people who live here pretend they don't know I'm talking about them. 

So I've decided to indulge myself in today's very special Vagueblogging Edition of Friday's Random Thoughts. 

So y'all best prepare yourself for some non-specificity up in this bitch.  

Thanks to a certain sandwich company, this song has been stuck in my head all month. Thank you, unnamed sandwich company. This song is awesomesauce.

Some people's social media posts make other people want to punch some people in the head.

From no jobs to having two jobs (plus some freelance gigs). A member of the 47 percent is going to be very busy. This person thinks a certain ridiculous presidential candidate should suck it.

A certain person is no longer going to worry about what she might have done to earn the disdain of certain other people. A certain person happily doesn't have time for that shit any longer.


Some people shouldn't answer their phone if the first thing they're going to say is, "I'm in the middle of a conversation. I don't have time for this." Then may I suggest that you not answer the phone? Because, when you answer the phone in this manner, you are being rude to both the person with whom you are in the middle of a conversation and the person who isn't psychic and so wasn't aware that they shouldn't call you right that moment.

A certain political candidate should probably not use self-tanner.
Someone is an out-of-touch douchebag. And orange.

Certain people who have taken to hanging empty chairs from nooses in their front yards as some sort of political statement should simply admit they are disgusting excuses for human beings and should have to wear a sign that alerts other people to this fact.


If a certain person can't figure out why someone might not be able to rush right out and attend a $75 event or buy multiple $15 tickets for her family to see an art exhibit, that person probably hasn't had to worry about money ever and is probably clueless or spoiled. A certain person should probably say thank you more often for her undeserved blessings.

If a person hates where she lives so much, she should move or shut up. A certain person's neighbors probably hate her anyway.

People who can't respond to emails in a timely manner should not bother emailing certain other people in the first place.

A certain famous actress who has been arrested multiple times should just get in a car with a certain other famous actress who has been involved in multiple hit-and-runs and they should drive off a cliff Thelma and Louise-style.

A certain kitten with white fur and a tag that reads "Lucy" who lives in a certain household should stop getting on the kitchen counter unless that certain kitten wants to live somewhere else.

A certain blogger should probably stop yelling at the dumb animal that doesn't know any better. A certain blogger should really stop threatening bodily harm to the dumb animal.

A certain blogger really hates getting home after 7 every night because a certain blogger misses her kids, but the first thing she does is yell at a certain blogger's children about the mess they've made.

A certain blogger yells too much.

A certain blogger immediately puts on her pajamas when she gets home at night because a certain blogger is pathetically worn out from a job that requires her to sit in a chair for six hours. A certain blogger does this every evening:


A certain blogger thinks the absolute best thing about being so busy is that it makes Friday feel so fucking fantastic.

After a long day of phone interviews, job assignments, and making 100 phone calls on behalf of an unnamed non-profit organization, a certain blogger will be treating herself to a vodka cranberry this evening.

A certain blogger lies when she acts like it's going to be just one vodka cranberry.

A certain blogger was made very happy by this video of a certain red, furry creature, so she will sign off with this happy little video.



A certain George Clooney fan wishes a very happy Friday to certain people.

And certain other people can suck it.




Thursday, September 20, 2012

One Super-Hot Move for Lighting Up the Night


Former Cosmopolitan editor Kate White has written an advice book.


If it's anything like the advice in Cosmopolitan, I'm certain you will want to immediately rush out and buy it for your daughter...

And let her watch while you set it on fire.






Homework Discussion - AMURICA HELL YEAH

Jacob: "I have to learn all the words to The Star Spangled Banner and the Pledge of Allegiance."

Me: "Oh, easy. You know the Pledge of Allegiance. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God...
That was added in 1954 --"

Jacob: "Because of communism."

Me: "Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."


Yep, that's pretty much how most conversations go around here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I Want To Go To There: Breakfast the Right Way

First comment under this photo when it appeared on reddit.com: "That balcony was meant for eating omelets on, every morning, with your balls out." - usernameblank

Which then reminded me of this excellent Hunter S. Thompson quote, one of my favorite things ever. My friend Todd and I used to each have a copy of this "recipe" for the perfect breakfast on the bulletin boards in our cubicles at work.

"Breakfast is the only meal of the day that I tend to view with the same kind of traditionalized reverence that most people associate with lunch and dinner. I like to eat breakfast alone, and almost never before noon; anybody with a terminally jangled lifestyle needs at least one psychic anchor every twenty-four hours, and mine is breakfast. In Hong Kong, Dallas or at home — and regardless of whether or not I have been to bed — breakfast is a personal ritual that can only be properly observed alone, and in a spirit of genuine excess. The food factor should always be massive: four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crepes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned beef hash with diced chiles, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of Key lime pie, two margaritas, and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert... Right, and there should also be two or three newspapers, all mail and messages, a telephone, a notebook for planning the next twenty-four hours and at least one source of good music… All of which should be dealt with outside, in the warmth of a hot sun, and preferably stone naked."

One of these days, I'm going to completely create this breakfast set-up. Maybe without the cocaine.

Clooney Tuesdays - Neil Diamond Edition

I don't know if it's the weather outside or the storm clouds in my head.
Maybe it's that I've been online reading about "the 47 percent" and have seen too many comments to count that vilify single mothers.
Excuse me for not living a perfect life. Yes, I'm quite sure it's because I'm a lazy person who won't take responsibility for her own life. No doubt about it.
I'm not even angry right now. I'm just sad. I'm sad for my children. It's not their fault I destroyed our lives with my laziness and victimhood.
Yes, I look like Sophia Loren when I cry.

 I'd like to go back to bed and try this whole thing again tomorrow.

Maybe looking up random George Clooney news online will improve my mood. I don't have time for much. I have to rush off to my part-time job where my lazy ass makes $10 an hour. I sure hope they're taking out the right amount of taxes!


On October 20, George will receive an award for "outstanding artistic achievements and unprecedented humanitarian undertakings," most notably his advocacy for a resolution in Darfur.

Even better than the award, Neil Diamond will "sing-talk" at the event. I love Neil Diamond. I've written before about my grandma and how much she loved Neil Diamond.


Frankly, I want to go back in time and be on the pontoon with my grandparents listening to Neil Diamond, and I want to be a little girl again. Because I'm tired of this adult shit. I'm tired of the non-stop worry.

I'd really like to simply float for awhile.

So, in that vein, here's a photo of George Clooney on a boat.



"He's cute! I mean, I'm just saying. I've noticed. Just ... factually. It's a fact." - Michelle Obama about George Clooney

(Video on ETOnline)

Monday, September 17, 2012

First World Money Problems

Listen, America, it's becoming more difficult to listen to your constant bitching and moaning about money.

Why?

Because now I know that last year, you spent $310 million on Halloween costumes...

FOR.

YOUR.

PETS.

We're on a mission from God.

I'm going to murder you in your sleep. I'm not even joking.

I already peed on your new duvet cover. 

You should sleep with one eye open, my friend.

"I am so fried." "Oh, shut up, Sonny." "Hey, what's your beef?" "Seriously, Sonny, I'll fuck you up."

I live with total assholes.

Awww, you say? You won't say that when you see what I threw up on the sofa.

What are you trying to say, man? That I'm a wiener? 

I used the force to chew up her favorite pair of heels. 
If you take this off me now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you. 

You've dressed your chihuahua as a taco. Yeah, you're so hilarious. 


"I'm like a Sid Vicious for a new generation." - Avril Lavigne